Barry Jenkins Wants to Helm a Sci-Fi Film. Hurry Up and Take My Money in Advance

Director Barry Jenkins attends the 19th Annual AFI Awards on January 4, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Director Barry Jenkins attends the 19th Annual AFI Awards on January 4, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images for AFI)

Looks like Barry Jenkins has his eyes on the science fiction genre. Um, immediately upon hearing this idea, the conclusion is clear— this needs to be a reality.

Right now, Jenkins is working on an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad as part of his boss ass Amazon first-look deal. It’s a very exciting venture since, from the description, it’ll be like a black-ass Snowpiercer.


During the press circuit for his multiple award-nominated film, If Beale Street Could Talk, Jenkins answered the natural question: What’s next?

“I think now I want to grow aesthetically. I would love to do a sci-fi film. I’m a big fan of [director] Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2). I would love to do something in the vein of that. Hopefully I’ll get to expand after I finish The Underground Railroad,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker told Vulture on the 2019 Golden Globes red carpet. “I’m not gonna do anything between now and The Underground Railroad. That’s what I’m committed to, that’s my destiny. But you know, I’m friends with Ryan Coogler, and I look at what he did going from Fruitvale to Creed to Black Panther. And you watch Black Panther, no one else could have made that. If there was a character or a world that really suited my voice, absolutely. I love cinema of all different scales, and I would love to play on that scale some day.”

Wow, looks like we have something in common Mr. Jenkins, because I would also love for you to play on that scale some day. Preferably, as soon as possible. Take all of my money right now, Sir.

Seriously. Imagine a holy trifecta of writer/director Jenkins teaming up with his trusty cinematographer James Laxton to construct the most elegant visuals, coupled with the eargasm known as a Nicholas Britell score in a wholly unlimited science fiction universe. Bitch.


I’m also a Denis Villeneuve fan so knowing Jenkins is inspired by him makes me giddy as fuck. Plus, given our dire representation in the genre, having one of the most prominent filmmakers in black cinema right now helm such an effort would be glorious.

Again— My money. Take it.

But, as for what’s immediately next, I’m also looking forward to seeing The Underground Railroad, which will be complete pivot from the feel of his two most recent feature films.


“It’s such a massive project, so different than [Moonlight and Beale Street], it doesn’t really relate at all,” he noted on Sunday. “I’m just trying to burrow into this hole and really figure that out.”

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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Rooo sez BISH PLZ

Is he going to do Professor Bell’s Space Traders? I could see him doing that.

Can we get him to adapt one of N.K. Jemisin’s books? Octavia Butler’s?